Granger can appoint new GECOM Chair by Monday if Opposition is prepared

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President David Granger, in recognizing the urgency of appointing a new Chairman of the Guyana Elections (GECOM), says he can do so “as early as Monday if the Opposition is prepared to act in a consensual manner and in good faith.”

In an address to the nation hours after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) handed down its consequential orders for the No-Confidence Motion passed against the Government, the Head-of-State accused Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo of rejecting “the idea of acting in a consensual manner.”

The two sides were urged by the CCJ in its June 18th ruling to ‘hammer out’ a list of names to select a new chairman after it was found that the process used to appoint the previous chairman was flawed.

But three meetings between the two sides this week ended without any agreement after five of the 11 names submitted by the Opposition Leader were shortlisted and the eight submitted by the President were not considered.

But according to the President, the Opposition Leader “chose to put forward candidates for the post who have been rejected previously.”

Prior to his unilateral appointment of the previous GECOM Chair, Mr Granger rejected 18 nominees that were put forward by the Opposition Leader.

The President accused the representatives of the Opposition Leader of not acting in good faith during those meetings.

“Representatives of both the Government and the Opposition have met three times this week. However, that good faith has not been reciprocated by the Leader of the Opposition. It was my hope that the two sides would have been able to “hammer out” the list of six nominees in accordance with the CCJ guidelines.”

According to President Granger, “it is clear that elections have to be held in the shortest possible time and, therefore, it is crucial to appoint a chairman of the Elections Commission.”

Mr Granger maintained that the current list of voters is contaminated.

“Credible elections are essential to representative democracy. The credibility of the elections is dependent, in part, on the integrity of the Official List of Electors. I maintain that a contaminated list can vitiate the credibility of elections.”

According to the Head of State, “GECOM and not the Executive is in charge of the elections. GECOM has to advise the President on its readiness to conduct elections. I commit to the holding of credible elections in the shortest possible time.”

The President ended his address to the nation by urging Guyanese to vote the APNU+AFC Coalition back in office.

See President David Granger’s full address below:

Guyanese, the Constitution of Guyana is sacrosanct and supreme. The independence of the judiciary remains intact and the Elections Commission remains independent.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has now concluded its deliberations and has issued its Consequential Orders on the consolidated cases related to the appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission and the passage of the No-Confidence Motion.

The Court has noted that, of the greatest public importance, the President and the Leader of the Opposition should conclude the process of appointing a new GECOM Chairman.

The President of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders, stated that this is imperative and of utmost urgency. I agree. I have committed since 21stDecember 2018 to the holding of free and fair elections.

Credible elections are essential to representative democracy. The credibility of the elections is dependent, in part, on the integrity of the Official List of Electors.

I maintain that a contaminated list can vitiate the credibility of elections.

Guyanese, I met the Leader of the Opposition on 4th July in good faith. We discussed the process by which the nomination of persons would be submitted to me for the post of GECOM Chairman.

Representatives of both the Government and the Opposition have met three times this week. However, that good faith has not been reciprocated by the Leader of the Opposition.

It was my hope that the two sides would have been able to “hammer out” the list of six nominees in accordance with the CCJ guidelines.

It is unfortunate that, despite the meetings between the two sides, the Leader of the Opposition rejected the idea of acting in a consensual manner. He chose to put forward candidates for the post who have been rejected previously.

Guyanese, it is clear that elections have to be held in the shortest possible time and, therefore, it is crucial to appoint a chairman of the Elections Commission. This could be done as early as Monday if the Opposition is prepared to act in a consensual manner and in good faith.

GECOM and not the Executive is in charge of the elections. GECOM has to advise the President on its readiness to conduct elections.

I commit to the holding of credible elections in the shortest possible time.

Guyanese, I will devote all my energies until the forthcoming election to serving our people and our country and to delivering good governance.

We live in a country that is moving forward; with an economy that is more resilient – providing better jobs; communities that are safer; in a society that has better infrastructure, greater access to quality education and that is more cohesive.

Guyanese, we are on the right path.

I urge all our people, of whatever background when the election comes, to back myself, and the coalition to secure a better future for Guyana.

May God bless you all.

 

 

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